Smoke-free Places Forum to be held at the Gateway Center in Newport March 5

in Newport

NEWPORT — The HealthWorks ONE Coalition and Vermont Department of Health are sponsoring a Community Forum at the Gateway Center in Newport on March 5, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate in this free event and lunch will be provided for participants by North Country Hospital.

The forum will feature Ron Redmond, Executive Director of Church Street Marketplace in Burlington as keynote speaker. There will be a panel of local residents addressing the topic of “livability” in Newport, and how to make the area even more inviting for residents and visitors alike.

Mr. Redmond has been at the helm at Church Street Marketplace for 17 years.

Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace has become a smoke-free area, due to concerns about second-hand smoke exposure. They were following the example of outdoor pedestrian malls and plazas across the country.

The ability to host events that serve both the local community and attract visitors is a strength shared by Newport and Burlington. Newport’s downtown and parks are a great place for community events. These public events draw large crowds, and lately, some attendees find it difficult to attend with the likelihood of secondhand smoke exposure.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, people may find it difficult to enjoy festivities that aren’t smoke-free, because exposure to secondhand smoke can cause eye and throat irritation while prolonged exposure increases risk of lung cancer, heart attack and respiratory disease. Children and adults with asthma or allergies tend to feel better when they’re not exposed to secondhand smoke.

This upcoming Smoke Free Places Forum held at the Gateway Center in Newport on March 5 will allow participants the opportunity to learn more, as well a voice their opinion on the issue. Everyone is invited to participate and help in envisioning a healthier Newport.

To register to attend the Forum, RSVP to smokefreeplaceforum@gmail.com or call 802-334-2725.

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